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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

~ By Anne Kemp

There once was a little girl who dreamed in Technicolor of the life she wanted when she was older. The best and most favorite of her dreams were the ones where she was running away to an island so she could write a book. She knew it was hokey and farfetched, but one cannot help what they dream, or as they say, “the heart wants what the heart wants.”

This same little girl had a vision of her life on the island. There was a small, crooked bamboo shack right on the beach, flip-flops freshly kicked off tanned feet and tossed haphazardly by the front door, askew in the fine powder-white sand. And just a few steps away from her front door were the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean. To the left of the little shack was a hammock strung between two palm trees, joined at the root in a perfect union. It was there the girl knew she would rest while swaying in the breeze and brooding over her next projects, while on break from hunching over her typewriter working on the next great American novel.

Now, let’s fast-forward 30 years:

The same little girl with the big dreams has packed a bag, sublet her apartment and has clutched in her grasp a one-way ticket to St. Kitts. She’s moving in with her 26 year-old nephew who’s going to vet school while she figures out her next steps after being laid-off right before the Christmas holiday. She’s also still freshly bruised from a relationship that ended quite suddenly and out of nowhere just a few months prior. This girl with her big dreams had strayed somewhere along the way and needed to find them again.

So she went to the islands, because for once…she just could. It scared her to leave the familiar but she needed to get out of her comfort zone and take a risk in the unknown. What she got there was like nothing she ever imagined.

Instead of a little shack on the beach, she was staying (gratefully) in a one-bedroom apartment on an air mattress – at 36 years old, this was quite the bold move on her part. Next to her air mattress, which was in the middle of her nephew’s living room, was a litter box that said nephew had issues with cleaning. It soon became part of her daily chores to make sure it stayed fresh.

Now, since it’s 2012 and there really aren’t any typewriters handy these days, she packed her MacBook in her carry-on bag and proceeded to begin her newest chapter. (Traveler’s side-note: thank goodness she didn’t have a typewriter she needed to haul from LA to the Caribbean. Considering the price of extra baggage these days, her severance pay would have been spent in line at the ticket counter!)

Her new residence wasn’t a few steps from the beach but close enough to get to it on foot. Even in the most terrible heat or on the worst of days, she knew she had that gorgeous Caribbean blue water oh-so-close-by in case of an emergency. There were even a few nights were she ended up swimming in those gorgeous waters with fun new friends until the wee hours of the morning…a feat not attempted since the 90s. It was to the point on one occasion that her obviously more responsible nephew was found on the shore begging her to “please come in! It’s 4 AM!”

There was a hammock and it was amazing. The girl loved to sit in it and think…until it broke while she was swinging in it one day, spitting her out of it’s woven embrace like a scorned lover and knocking the wind from her lungs in the rudest fashion. While still loving hammocks and swings and such, the girl vowed she wouldn’t lie in one again…unless it was super-glued for stability.

Her lesson? That life is never what we think it’s going to be. While she was making other plans, she forgot to sit back and let the fates take their course for her.

Life is more than a daily to-do list. Instead it’s a day at a time, and it is made up of a series of beautiful accidents that if we were to attempt to plan them, we’d never see those plans come to fruition.

The most beautiful and memorable of moments are made up in minutes, building into experiences and setting us on courses for our lifetime…or maybe it just steers us in the right direction for one day.

The girl always wanted to write a book while living on an island. And guess what?

She did.

Anne Kemp is the author of the Abby George Series, which includes her debut novella, All Fruits Ripe, and first novel, Rum Punch Regrets, which is out Friday May 25th! Please visit her at www.AnneKemp.com for more information. You can follow her on Twitter: @MissAnneKemp of become a fan on Facebook.

 A portion of Anne’s book revenue is donated to Lupus LA.


~ By Melina Kantor

Hello Chick Lit Fans!

Happy Friday.

We here at the blog thought we’d kick off the weekend by sharing some of the writing related images / cartoons / inspiration floating around the social networks this week.

If you’ve got any more, please share! You can post them to our Facebook page, and while you’re there, you can “like” us too. :-)


Melina writes contemporary women’s fiction with a pinch of oregano and a dash of chutzpah. She loves to travel and enjoys turning her adventures into research and inspiration for her writing. This summer, she and her dog will be moving from Brooklyn to Jerusalem. You can visit her at http://melinakantor.com.

Hello Chick Lit Fans,

Happy Friday!

This week, I thought I’d share a video from The Moth (“true stories told live”) with a real chick lit feel (not to mention cute firefighters). The story was told by Katherine Russell Rich, a writer who recently passed away.

So here it is, a treat for your muses, in Katherine’s honor:

We’ll be off next week for a bit of spring break. We’ll be back with brand new posts on Wednesday, 4/18.

Until then, happy reading and writing! :-)

Melina writes contemporary women’s fiction with a pinch of oregano and a dash of chutzpah. She recently returned from a two month trip to Crete and Israel, where she visited  family and friends did her best to turn her travels into research and inspiration for her writing. You can visit her at http://melinakantor.com.

~ By Melina Kantor

Well, dear chick lit fans, I’ve realized something.

Every Friday, we here at the blog show up with the intention of helping you kick off a weekend filled with productive writing.

But, it has occurred to me that just maybe, some of you poor people are tired and just don’t feel like writing. Writing is hard and exhausting, so who are we to suggest you sit down and spend hours at it?

So here you go. 22 More Reasons to Stop Writing.

Enjoy! ;-)

What are YOUR reasons not to write?

Melina writes contemporary women’s fiction with a pinch of oregano and a dash of chutzpah. She recently returned from a two month trip to Crete and Israel, where she visited  family and friends did her best to turn her travels into research and inspiration for her writing. You can visit her at http://melinakantor.com.

~ By Charity Tahmaseb 

Dear Readers,

Today, RWA Chick Lit Chapter member Charity Tahmaseb is giving us her top five reasons to love YA.

Read on!


1. The best kept secret of writing YA: It’s fun.

Writing YA can be a blast. Take, for instance, virtual dress shopping. I’m not much of a girly-girl and never have been, but nothing beats virtual dress shopping as “very crucial research you simply must do before you write.”

One of the manuscripts my writing partner and I worked on included a homecoming court–and we had to find dresses for all five homecoming queen candidates. Five different personalities! Five different dresses! I think this crucial research took at least two weeks.

2. Everything old is new again

Have you ever wanted to rewrite your past? Revisit that awful first day of senior year and give it a twist? Invent the perfect comeback for the class clown. Rewind that time you should’ve stood up for your best friend and didn’t. Insert your own angst here.

Sure, you may have to transport your inner sixteen-year-old to the twenty first century, but the things you felt in your teen years still apply. Besides, by rewriting your past, you may end up changing someone’s future.

3. Sky’s the limit

Want to travel in outer space? Attend a paranormal boarding school? Fall in love during the 1940s? Experience survival and romance in a “perfect” world gone wrong?

One of the best things about writing YA is your imagination rules. Not just in subject matter either. From fun and frothy to gritty and edgy, your teen protagonist can tell her story in her own voice.

4. Love at first sight

Young adult fiction deals with so many firsts–first kiss, first love, first rejection, first broken heart, first … zombie slaying. Seeing the world fresh again, in all its wonder and sorrow, is pretty amazing, no matter if you’re reading or writing.

5. Hope–the thing with feathers

Even the darkest young adult stories have a glimmer of hope at the end. Not only that, but many young adult novels have happily ever after–or at least, a happily ever after for now.

The thing about endings in young adult fiction is that they’re also beginnings. For all her struggles, the protagonist now stands ready to face new challenges, often with strength and insight she never knew she possessed.

As my writing partner and I like to term it: They all lived hopefully ever after. And who couldn’t use that thing with feathers?

Those are my top five, favorite reasons for writing–and reading–young adult fiction. What are yours?

Charity Tahmaseb has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She doesn’t think it’s a social stigma to eat alone at a restaurant and read a book. Her favorite city is London, but she loves living in Minnesota. She spent twelve years as a Girl Scout and six in the Army; that she wore green for both may not be a coincidence. These days, she writes young adult fiction and works as a technical writer for a software company in St. Paul. Her young adult novel (written with co-author Darcy Vance), The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, is a 2012 YALSA Popular Paperbacks

~ By Melina Kantor

Hi Everyone.

Happy Friday!

It may be March, but here in Brooklyn, it’s still pretty wintry. And it seems many of us have had a tiring week.

So I thought we’d kick off the weekend with a bit of inspiration from Maeve Binchy, “The Mother of Chick Lit.”


Here’s to a great weekend of writing. :-)

Melina writes contemporary women’s fiction with a pinch of oregano and a dash of chutzpah. She recently returned from a two month trip to Crete and Israel, where she visited  family and friends did her best to turn her travels into research and inspiration for her writing. You can visit her at http://melinakantor.com.